StartUp Health, a New York-based incubator for health technology
startups, admitted 14 new companies into its three-year development program this week. The program, which received 1,200 applications in the past year, aims to give new medical companies long-term mentoring and access to capital.
The new entrants include companies working on medication adherence, remote medical services and patient engagement in physical therapy. Cohero Health, a one-year-old company based in New York, aims to help kids with chronic asthma manage their condition.
"StartUp Health for me offered tremendous value," said Melissa Manice, Cohero's founder. "My background is very clinical, so to me StartUp Health was almost the MBA."
Asthma affects more than 16 million American adults and 7 million children nationally. New York has above average asthma rates, which tend to be higher in lower income communities.
"The end goal is to keep kids with chronic asthma out of the emergency room," Ms. Manice said. "But knowing how to sell that to investors and how to introduce it to pharmaceuticals and to health plans is really helpful."
The length of StartUp Health's program gives seed companies a better chance of lasting, said Einas Ibrahim, a startup consultant based in New York.
"Most of the incubator models out there vary from six weeks to six months," she said, "and then the relationship kind of fizzles." This means a company's success ultimately depends more on the founder's personality than the training he or she gets.
"For healthcare startups, the learning curve is much steeper," she added. "Healthcare is not an open source field. You need extra time to learn the systems, and people to show you around."
Two other companies in the newest batch are based in New York. Edamam is a nutrition analysis tool that aims to be default provider of nutritional information on the web. Sense Health allows care providers to create activity plans for patients between appointments.
StartUp Health now has 46 companies in its network, a third of which are based in New York, said Unity Stoakes, co-founder of the two-year-old firm. The 46 startups have raised $106 million in capital, a testament to the city's ripe medical ecosystem and proximity to startup capital, he said.
"Companies have more success in the New York area because of the numbers of pharmaceuticals, providers and such a large patient population," he said.
The explosion in mobile technology
is another factor spurring the growth in medical tech companies, Mr. Stoakes said. He likened the phenomenon to the mid-1990s Internet boom. "We're in the reinvention and re-imagination phase" of a new healthcare system, he said. "I do think over the coming years we will see a convergence of ideas and companies coming together to recreate a solution.""14 health startups get into 3-year incubator program" originally appeared in Crain's New York Business.